Saga Tours - Travel to Mali and West Africa Bamako, Mali
West Africa
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Tel +223.7641.7383

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Dogon village at the base of the cliff

Dogon village

pirogue race on the Niger

market girls

pottery market

Dogon toguna

village market

Misira Tour

Mali and Burkina Faso

A fascinating glimpse into the rural heart of traditional West Africa

8 days/ 7 nights hotel, no camping
Multi-country Tours
Mali Tours
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Every tour is private, scheduled on dates of your choice, beginning on a Saturday in Bamako, MALI and ending the following Saturday in Ouagadougou, BURKINA FASO; there are no fixed-date group departures.

Contact us for prices. Groups of any size are welcome. Be sure to specify the month/year of travel, and how many persons are in your party—prices are digressive, so a better value per person for a party of four than a party of two, etc.


Day 1
Arrival in Bamako, MALI
International flight arrives in Bamako in the evening; our staff will meet you in the Arrivals hall of Bamako airport, and provide your hotel transfer; overnight in Bamako.
Grand Hotel,
or similar
(no meals)
Day 2
Bamako – Segou (235 km; ~3hrs)
Begin your West African journey with visit to Mali's National Museum (see with its impressive collections of textiles from the 11th to the 20th century; ancient Bamanan, Dogon and Senoufo sculptures; terracotta objects from archeological sites; and contemporary African paintings and sculptures. We will also visit the city market and the artisans' village. Then after a lunch break, we will drive to Segou, Mali's former colonial capital.
As time permits, we will visit Segou, with its interesting mix of traditional and colonial architecture, ending our day with a stroll through the traditional pottery market on the waterfront. Overnight in Segou.
Hotel Independance, or similar Breakfast
Day 3
Segou – Djenne (330 km; ~4½hrs)Mopti(130 km; ~1½hr)
8h00 AM departure (or earlier) for our onward drive to Djenne, ancient sister-city of Timbuktu, to arrive in time to see the large and colorful weekly market. Djenne was one of the first commercial centers of the Sahel region: it was the meeting place of the nomads from the Sahara, the local farmers and cattle herders, and the fishermen from the inland delta of the Niger.
After exploring the market, we will stroll the ancient alleys and narrow streets, and see the oldest house in Djenne, dating from the XIIth century; also see the magnificent Great Mosque, the world's largest mud brick architecture, originally constructed in the XIIIth century, this is one of Unesco's World Heritage sites. We will visit the Djenne museum as we depart, and onward to Mopti for a relaxing sunset sail on the Niger River by private river boat. Overnight in Mopti.
Hotel Kanaga,
or similar
Day 4
Mopti – Dogon country (120 km; ~2hrs)
Today we visit Mopti, also known as the Venice of Mali: see the beautiful Sudanese-style mosque, the fishing port, and the bustling local market where many of Mali's ethnic groups come to trade: Bambara, Bobo, Bozo, Dogon, Fulani, Tuareg and Songhay—shop for gold or silver jewelry, hand-made cotton or wool blankets, or some of Mali's beautiful wood carvings (masks, statues, etc.).
Then, onward to Dogon country !
The Dogon tribe originated in the south of Mali, which they fled to preserve their animist religion from the spread of Islam. When they arrived at the Bandiagara cliffs, they found the Tellem people occupying grottos carved in the face of the cliff; they eventually displaced the Tellem people, and used the grottos to bury their dead—funerary rites are an important part of the Dogon culture. We will visit Songo village, renowned for its circumcision grotto and rock paintings, and continue to Sangha for overnight.
Hotel Campement Guina,
or similar
Day 5
Dogon country – Mopti (120 km; ~2hrs)
Breakfast, then we begin to explore Dogon country and the Bandiagara escarpment (another Unesco World Heritage site). We will see many examples of the classic traditional Dogon architecture (small stone houses and circular granaries) and contemporary fetishism. We will descend the escarpment (on foot, if you wish) to visit Banani village, one of the most beautiful of the cliff villages. We will visit Amani village, with its sacred crocodiles, totem animal of the Dogon people; option to witness a traditional Dogon mask dance, one of the Dogon people's funerary rites. At day's end, we will return to Mopti for overnight.
Hotel Kanaga,
or similar
Day 6
Mopti – Bobo Dioulasso, BURKINA FASO (485 km; ~7hrs)
After breakfast, we will depart Mali for Burkina Faso; sightseeing and photo opportunities along the way. We cross the BF border and continue to Bobo Dioulasso for overnight.
Hotel Auberge,
or similar
Day 7
Bobo Dioulasso – Ouagadougou (360 km; ~4½hrs)
This morning we visit Bobo Dioulasso, the "house of the Bobo merchants" in the local language; this is Burkina Faso's second largest city. We will see the old mosque, the Houet Museum, and visit the old Kibidwe artisans' district where we will see traditional blacksmiths, potters, and dyers at work. In the afternoon, we drive to Ouagadougou for overnight.
Hotel Independance,
or similar
Day 8
On our final day, we explore Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso's capital city: we will visit the Grand Market and the National Museum, with its interesting collection of regional clothing, masks, household utensils and ancestral statues. We will visit the crafts markets at the Artisans' Center, where we will find basketry, batik fabrics, wooden statues and masks, jewelry, leatherwork and bronze castings. We will also visit the Music Museum (if it is reopened, after major renovations). In the evening, transfer to the airport for onward flight.
day-room Breakfast

1 km ~ 0.6 mile; distances are approximate
Driving times are approximate, depending on local conditions, stops, and border crossings

NB: Hotels subject to availability; see proposed hotels description.

Tour package includes:
  • 7 nights hotel, double occupancy, with breakfast
  • day-room in Ouagadougou on the final day
  • private ground transportation by air-conditioned 4x4 vehicle, with driver and fuel
  • sunset sail on the Niger River by private river boat
  • experienced English-speaking guide throughout
  • airport transfers upon arrival in Bamako and departure in Ouagadougou
  • all hotel taxes and local tourism taxes
  • all site visit, excursion and entry fees as per tour program

Tour package does not include: international airfare to Bamako, MALI and onward from Ouagadougou, BURKINA FASO; tourism visas (Mali, Burkina Faso); lunches, dinners, drinks/bottled water; optional Dogon mask dance, tips and personal expenses.

Optional traditional Dogon mask dance in a village

Hotel upgrades in Bamako and Ouagadougou are available upon request.

Please note: Saga Tours does not handle international air reservations and ticketing.

Before reserving, please see our Terms and Conditions

Multi-country Tours
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